Readers don't need to know anything about Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein to enjoy M.L. Williams' new book of poetry, "Game," but a little working knowledge helps.
Wittgenstein explored the philosophic dimensions of logic, math, the mind and language. Living from 1889-1951, he is considered to be one of the greatest modern philosophers.
Even a brief working knowledge is helpful because the majority of the poems in "Game" begin with Wittgenstein quotations. The quotations serve as thematic springboards for the poems but Williams finds perspective through his observations, thoughts and logic.
He mines the realms of emotion as well as the intellect. Some poems tell stories. Some paint pictures. Some evoke feelings. Some will leave readers wondering about their lives and the lives of others, the world and the universe.
As with all good poetry, the poet not only reveals something of himself but the reader. Williams is a master of revelation.
Having read "Game" in a session or two left me with a revelation about good poetry.
A good book of poetry should be read like scripture.
One poem at a time. One poem per day. A reader should have time to reflect on the lines. Think about the ideas. Explore what it might mean to the poet and to the reader. It should be read like being struck by a wave then parsed in the facets of reflection.
M.L. Williams' "Game" is such a book. A book to read in pieces to better understand the whole.